May 20, 2020
Volume 10, No. 37
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A Priest, A Minister, A Rabbi, and a Pastor

A priest, a minister, a rabbi, and a pastor walk into a conundrum.  Wednesdays at 3 PM.
This month a new talk show / advice column / comedy act dropped on Facebook in which four clergy wrestle with the problems and issues we share.   The Rev. David Messner from the Unitarian Church in Charleston, The Rev. Billy Hester from Asbury Memorial Church, Rabbi Robert Hass from Congregation Mickve Israel, and Fr. Michael Chaney from the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany wrestle with questions and challenges we face. Says Cheney,  "So far this has been a blast exploring these questions with some old friends. I can't speak to the quality of advice we are giving but there's certainly plenty of humor."

Viewers are encouraged to submit real challenges they are experiencing that challenge values and create difficult decisions. All contributors will be anonymous on the air.
You can register in advance for this webinar by clicking here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 
The show is also streamed to Facebook live on Wednesdays at 3PM.
Consecration of Bishop-Elect Logue

Community of St. Joseph Raffle
The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is holding a raffle to sponsor the homeless Community of St. Joseph.
 All money raised in this drawing will go directly to purchase essential items for the homeless camp off of Louisville Road - such as food, tents, camping stoves, hygiene items, etc. 

The drawing starts on May 14th - and ends at midnight on Sunday, May 24, 2020.
The Rev. Michael Chaney will draw the winning ticket on Monday, May 25th on Facebook live. 
The raffle package includes:
  • A fresh vegetable delivery from Front Door Produce
  • Custom made masks from Brenda Scarpati - She will work with the winner to pick the style that you'd like.
  • A lot of toilet paper.
  • Hot Krispy Kreme donuts
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • A Penzeys "Embrace Hope" spice set
  • And more to come!
To purchase tickets, click here.

Finding New Ways to Serve
The Rev. Erwin Veale has found a new way of serving others in the time of COVID-19 that he would'venever guessed - donating his plasma to current COVD-19 patients. Veale is the Priest Associate at St. Paul's Augusta and a chaplain at University Hospital. In March, he began feeling sick with only a couple of symptoms that seemed out of the ordinary. Because of his position at the hospital he was able to get tested for the virus.  As a chaplain at at hospital, Veale knew all the steps he needed to take to stay safe, and still a positive test result returned. 

After recovering from the virus and continuing to quarantine for two additional weeks, Veale was back at work. For patients that are most critical and on ventilators, doctors are treating those patients with plasma donations from past COVID-19 patients. Veale is a regular blood donor with Shepeard Community Blood Center, and when they called to ask him about donating his plasma, he didn't hesitate.  "If there's something I can do that might help, I wanted to do that," he said. 
Clergy Transitions

The Rev. Canon Loren Lasch, Canon to the Ordinary
The Rev. Loren Lasch grew up an Episcopalian in the small town of Gordonsville in central Virginia.  In high school she moved to Savannah, where she attended the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle and was very active in Youth Programs in the Diocese of Georgia. She first felt her call to the priesthood as a Candidate at Happening #52, and her time in Youth Programs and serving as a camp counselor at Honey Creek was incredibly formative. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), where she was active with the Episcopal campus ministry.  Sponsored and supported by St. Paul's, Savannah, she received her MDiv from the Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained a priest by Bishop Louttit in 2008.  She then spent five years serving at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta, Georgia, during which time she met and married her husband, Ian.  They moved to Northern Virginia a few years later, where Loren served at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC while Ian attended the Virginia Theological Seminary (sponsored by St. Augustine's, Augusta).  From there they moved to Missouri, where Loren has been serving in the Offices of the Bishop since 2016, first as Youth Missioner and then as Canon for Christian Formation.  Loren and Ian have two adorable sons, Elias (5) and Ezra (3). 

Canon Lasch will begin her call on July 1.

The Rev. Ian Lasch, St. Francis of the Islands
Ian Lasch was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He joined the Army straight out of high school and served as an Arabic translator for five years in the Army and then another seven as a civilian contractor with the Army and Air Force. While in the military, he was stationed in Augusta, where he lived for a decade and met his wife Loren.

It was in Augusta, and the Diocese of Georgia, that Ian came to the Episcopal Church and eventually discerned a call to the priesthood. He attended Virginia Theological Seminary (class of 2016), and was ordained a deacon at St. Paul's in Savannah before moving following graduation to serve as Associate Rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ladue, Missouri. For the past two years he has served as the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Ian and Loren have two children: Elias (age five) and Ezra (who just turned three). Elias has one of the kindest hearts under the sun, and Ezra is a cuddly force of nature (he is often compared to the Tasmanian Devil or Animal from the Muppet Show).

Ian is thrilled to be returning home to the Diocese of Georgia, and to discerning the bright future that God has in store for St. Francis of the Islands.

The Rev. Lasch will begin his call on August 1.
Happening #104 Date Change 

In order to follow the current guidelines on public gatherings of more than ten people, Happening #103 has moved to November 13-15, 2020. For more information contact Happening Coordinator Sarah Brittany Sandbach.
Creation Care Corner - Butterfly Garden

This week, as the church celebrates Rogation Days, the Creation Care Commission launches a monthly "Green Spotlight"to share Creation care activities across the diocese. The first spotlight shines on a butterfly garden in Albany.

Butterflies have value as pollinators and their presence indicates a healthy environment. All plants and animals are intricately connected. The decline of butterflies affects the entire ecosystem. The monarch butterfly is the only insect known to migrate 2,500 miles annually. Even though several generations of monarchs are born in one year, the descendants go to the same place for winter each year. Beauty in our world is a human need, but butterflies bring far more than beauty by playing their part in the ecosystem.

For a number of years, parishioner Marian White has maintained a flower bed right by the St. Patrick 's,
Native Milkweed
Albany, parish hall to support butterflies and pollinators. Milkweed is planted there because monarchs need milkweed to lay eggs and feed. In the fall of 2014, there were several monarch caterpillars on tropical milkweed. We now recognize that most monarch experts think the tropical milkweed carries a bacterial disease that makes monarchs too weak to fly. We made the decision to pull up all the tropical milkweed and planted one Asclepias tuberosa or native butterfly weed in 2015. It can get quite large, but that takes years.

A monarch caterpillar feeds on 
tropical milkweed.

We now wish we had planted Asclepias incarnata or swamp milkweed, as that grows much faster yet has more tender leaves for the tiny caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars will eat any milkweed, but the native ones are preferred for many reasons. Look for the pdf Field Guide to Georgia Milkweeds which is available from Monarchs Across Georgia online. It clearly shows what to expect from different milkweeds and which ones grow well in South Georgia.

-Norris Wootton

Norris Wootton is a Creation Care Commission member, Master Gardener, and member of St. John and St. Mark's, Albany.
PPP Webinar Online

On Monday,  Canon Easterlin hosted a webinar for those churches who have received the PPP loan. If you missed the webinar or need to revisit the session, you may find it here.

All information relating to COVID-19 may be found on our resource page.

If you have any additional questions, including submitting a new application, contact Canon Easterlin.
Worship with the Diocese of Georgia on Wednesdays and Sundays

The clergy and staff of the diocese are continuing to provide Evening Prayer Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Morning Prayer on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Each liturgy has officiants, readers, and special music from around the Diocese.

These liturgies are stored on both 

Find Livestream Worship 
There are a lot of options each day for Episcopalians in the Diocese of Georgia to worship online and now they are listed in one place. The Livestream Services calendar tells the time, location, and which liturgy the congregation offers for the whole Diocese. Click the image above or this link: Livestream Services Calendar.
Upcoming Ordinations
As we have seen across the board, despite changes in how we worship, the Church remains one.
In that spirit, we announce the following ordinations:

Vocational diaconate
July 24, 2020 - Rita Spalding

June 27, 2020 - the Rev. Leeann Culbreath

All ordinations will comply with the guidelines and recommendations of public officials and healthcare professionals. You can still participate in each service by watching the livestream through each respective Facebook page. 
Around the Diocese

COVID-19 may have paused in-person services, but yard work must still go on! Members of Our Savior, Martinez made sure the grounds were still in tip top shape.

St. John's, Savannah carries out scheduled changes to the building, including the rebuilding of the lights in the church (left). As we get closer to the consecration of Bishop-Elect Frank Logue, we're going down memory lane with each former bishop of Georgia. This is the first bishop, Bishop Stephen Elliot, consecration in 1841 (right).

The Rev. Lauren Flowers Byrd has written and illustrated a children's book, Come Again, available online now. Byrd was inspired by the intersection of Passover and Eastertide with COVID-19. To read her book, click here.
Prayers for Weekly Liturgies
Our one-year prayer cycle combines prayers for every congregation in the Diocese of Georgia with prayers for our ecumenical partners and for our Companion Diocese of The Dominican Republic.   

The 2020 one year prayer cycle is now online here:  2020 Prayer Cycle

May 17 - May 23
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Jesup, St. Paul's. We also pray for our ecumenical partners in Jesup, especially St. Joseph's Catholic Church. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for Mount of the Transfiguration ( Monte de la Transfiguración) in Jarabacoa.

May 24 - 30
In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for our congregation in Kingsland, King of Peace. We also pray for our ecumenical partners, especially St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Folkston. In our companion diocese of the Dominican Republic, we pray for the congregations in Jimaní, especially St. Paul the Apostle ( San Pablo Apostól), St. Titus ( San Tito), and St. Ignatius ( San Ignacio).

Additional Prayer Cycles
We also offer 30-day prayer cycles for those who wish to pray daily for the clergy and clergy spouses:  Diocesan Prayer Cycle and  Clergy Spouses Prayer Cycle .
Diocesan Office Update and News

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19,  Diocesan staff will be working remotely until further notice. Email will be the quickest way to get in touch with the staff, although you are still welcome to call us on the phone! Staff e-mails can be found here.
Let Us Know!

What are you doing to keep community right now? Are you gathering for virtual coffee hours, delivering groceries to your neighbors - let us know! Send any updates or photos to our Communications Manager Liz Williams at We want to hear from you!
Ready for Take Off
Bishop Benhase ready to take flight.
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